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LEGO Collectors Guide vs. Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide (1949-90s)

IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
edited January 2012 in Marketplace
See images below....

There were some folks on Bricklink who were confused, so I posted this there and now here.....

I know that some folks are confused between the Official LEGO Collectors Guide
(book by Fantasia, 800+ pages), and my "new" Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors
Guide (1949-90s) on CD (3000+ pages).

Here's a quick example to help explain that these are 2 different guides using the example of the 310 Esso Service Station set...

The 310 Esso Service Station set was produced from 1956-65. The LAST image
shows an example of this set from the "Official" guide... this is all the information that it gives on the guide. The other images are just part of what I have compiled over the last 12 years.

The other images show the level of detail my "Unofficial" guide goes into, and
why with such a vast quantity of pages and images, a book is not possible, except
as a 4 volume edition at probably over $150. That's why my new expanded CD is
only $29.95 (plus it will allow you to click onto websites showing LEGO TV Commercials,
or a long History of the LEGO company).

NOTE: the other 7 images from my "unofficial" guide for this 310/1310 also has
a LOT of text, timelines and tables that show where/which countries sets/parts
were produced for.

The "official" guide is more of a quick reference, my "unofficial" guide is more
of an Encyclopedic guide into the endless variations of that product we love
as LEGO.

This will be my last CD edition... it took a lot of "blood, sweat and tears"...
to put together... but still was a labor of love...

Gary Istok

P.S. My new large edition (1949-90s) with lots of new old items as well as many
many newer sets going on into the 1990s is out shortly. Can be ordered here:


  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    Hmmm.... appears to be a bug in Brickset.... I posted 8 images (and they showed up when I did an edit of above text).... Will try again...
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    The last item added to the CD chapters (last week) was in regards to old Wooden
    Box LEGO sets... Wooden box sets were sold from 1957 (continental Europe) until 1978 (UK #90 Super Set).

    It seems that the oldest wooden box sets were of German and Swedish
    origins (in their local languages). This made absolutely no sense in that you
    would think that Danish would be the first one with a Danish language wooden
    box, since most early LEGO toys were made of wood. Well no Danish language wooden
    boxes are known. And apparently here is the likely reason why...

    The Sales Director for Sweden (starting in 1955) and Germany (starting in 1956)
    was a Danish expatriot by the name of Axel Thomsen. Axel was a Dane (and friend
    of Godtfred Kirk Christiansen). Axel owned a wooden doll house making company
    in Sweden before getting involved with LEGO. And he wanted to use his expertise
    in wood to make boxes for LEGO sets for Germany and Sweden (a rare few of the
    German wooden box sets have the surviving small sticker that says "Made in Sweden").

    So Axel started wooden boxed LEGO sets for Germany/Sweden in 1957, in the local
    language (set #700 "with contents" and #700 "empty").

    Then in 1958 Denmark decided that they would start producing these wooden boxes
    in Denmark as well. But by that time international "LEGO Systems" boxes were
    introduced, and the Danish boxes had "LEGO System" on them.

    Below are images of the 1957 German and Swedish wooden box, and a 1958 Danish
    retailer brochure image showing the "new to 1958" wooden box for Denmark.

    In the early days of LEGO, not all decisions came from Billund, and this helps
    explain why some of early LEGO is not listed in the Billund Archives, nor found
    in the LEGO Collections.

    Images... 1) German 1957 #700 set, 2) Sweden 1957 #700 set, 3) 1958 Danish retailer
    leaflet, 4) Danish 1958 #700 set, 5) Axel Thomsen (left) and his wife Grete with
    LEGO owners Ole Kirk Christiansen and Godtfred Kirk Christiansen (and LEGO legal
    folks) on the January 12, 1956 celebration of the start of LEGO sales in Germany
    in March 1956.

    Gary Istok

    P.S. Chapter 10 of my LEGO CD is my "crown jewel". It lists and pictures over 80 different wooden box sets. No online LEGO database lists more than 5 of these. Not even the Billund Archives has such an extensive collection of images and history of these very old, very valuable and very unusual sets.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    And speaking of wooden box sets... the last known LEGO wooden box set (mentioned in my CD Collectors Guide) was a UK/Australia set of 1975-78 known as the #90 Super Set. This set was produced by British LEGO Ltd. of Wrexham Wales, and also exported to Ireland and Australia. It was a very expensive set, and not a lot of these were produced or sold.

    Gary Istok

    P.S. I just happen to be fortunate enough to know a USA owner of a MISB one of these sets. This may be the only wooden box set that had sealed compartments, making it probably the only wooden box set that can come MISB.
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